According togizmag.com report, Physical Review Letters will soon publish the findings of a research team, about the discovery of a new, fourth Carbon Allotrope, added to the other already known three allotropes (diamond, graphite and graphene).
The new diamond-like allotrope is in fact harder and tougher than diamond, because it's atomic-level structure; "Unlike crystalline forms of carbon such as diamonds, whose hardness is highly dependent upon the direction in which the crystal is formed, the new form of carbon is amorphous meaning it could be equally strong in all directions"
The material is certainly interesting; I wonder how expensive it will be to make and whether it will be cost effective for anything but the most exotic applications. A lot of pressure is required to make the stuff, according to the article.
Well, (thanks to the 1970's Russians) Artificial diamonds are made today, which are cheaper, clearer, and stronger than naturally-made ones.
So really, what are the odds - we already know how they should be structured on the atomic level.
Carbon Fullerene was such a development - first, the desired atomic structure was figured out, and only then the material was discovered in nature, in space, and later was even synthesised.
Besides, we may yet discover that carbon, being such a multi-faceted atom (able to allow for the myriad chemical combinations of organic and living matter) has many more allotrope forms besides the ones already discovered. Including Nano-Tubes...
With Carbon being the "Joker-Atom" that it is, even Nano-Tubes are in fact, an emerging form of Fullerene.
And single atom thick layer of carbon atoms deposited in a SiC surface form. For very high speed transistors. Having the electrons constrained by the lack of the third dimension of freedom does funny things to its particle physics behaviour.
Still, there is a long way from solving a packing problem in theorie to demonstrating new material behaviour.
I was actually surprised to read about a new 'carbon' that didn't involve nanotubes. The electrical and also physical properties are so manipulable by organization of the particles at that scale, almost nothing is surprising.
Perhaps a corollary to the glassy carbon-high pressure experiments, could include an alternative nano-recipe for the same stuff. I guess the question is, how easy is it to get a completely random arrangement of nanotubes? shake and bake...
If the dimensional arrangement of nanotubes is only of radial and axial symmetry, nothing else is there to prevent them re-arrange and fold in "random" - spaghetti-like - a bit like proteins do - to relieve themselves of inner tension and the re-location of bonding spots on their "surface" - this is all a wild guess on my part of course. Every atom or molecule will re-arrange itself towards a state of least potential energy - the second law of thermodynamics in play etc
The long thin noodle effect is what I see in that picture, for sure. Why not?
I've gotten used to thinking of nanotubes as a bunch of short pieces with polarity, with the orientation manipulable by their magnetic or electrical properties. A long single tube doesn't have the same characteristics and can certainly lend to a random configuration.
At least we know, it will spontaneously form knots if agitated. ( 2008 Ig Nobel for Physics) .
Really?? The Physical Review seems to indicate to me, at least, that it is a teorethical packing problem, that may result in a new form of carbon.Let's see some concrete results beyond what is announced to date.